The name of this fungus is spot on. You can find it growing on both living and dead wood all around Otley, mostly on Elder. It is edible (if you are 100% certain in your identification), and is used a lot in Chinese cuisine – they used to import large quantities from Australia. It has been much-used in folk medicine around the world, and modern science has subsequently given many of these traditional treatments credence. Children delight in feeling its texture, part fascinated, part repulsed! I tell them that, as with all mushrooms, the bit we see is effectively only the fruit, and that the complex main body is hidden from view.
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